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Economic development, institutional analysis, health systems, corruption, evaluation
Bill Savedoff is a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development where he works on issues of aid effectiveness and health policy. His current research focuses on the use of performance payments in aid programs and problems posed by corruption. At the Center, Savedoff played a leading role in the Evaluation Gap Initiative and co-authored Cash on Delivery Aid with Nancy Birdsall. Before joining the Center, Savedoff prepared, coordinated, and advised development projects in Latin America, Africa and Asia for the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Health Organization. As a Senior Partner at Social Insight, Savedoff worked for clients including the National Institutes of Health, Transparency International, and the World Bank. He has published books and articles on labor markets, health, education, water, and housing including “What Should a Country Spend on Health?,” Governing Mandatory Health Insurance, and Diagnosis Corruption.
I have argued that tobacco taxes are the single best health policy that any country could implement. The World Bank is the most prominent organization in the world with the skills, mandate, and network to support raising tobacco taxes in developing countries where the number of smokers and shortened lives is increasing every year. Yet, the World Bank has committed far too little to this effort. One of the key reasons is World Bank management has let this best-buy for development fall between the cracks — tobacco is a health issue and taxes are a fiscal policy issue.
This problem came into relief for me while reading through a series of World Bank loan documents (yes, sometimes I do strange reading) in countries where the tobacco epidemic is large or increasing. One of the countries I looked at is Ukraine. The fiscal policy side of the World Bank approved two policy loans in 2014 and 2015 for a total of $1.25 billion to reform subsidies and improve tax administration, among other things. The health side of the World Bank approved a US$214 million loan in 2015 to improve health by preventing noncommunicable diseases. And here’s the surprise: neither loan specifically addressed tobacco taxes.
The health loan document mentioned tobacco only once — to state that smoking prevalence among men is about 50 percent. It didn’t specifically mention that 27 percent of Ukrainian men die from tobacco-related diseases. It made no mention at all of the cost-effectiveness of raising tobacco taxes. Meanwhile, the policy loans had plans to reduce tax evasion and improve tax administration but, again, no mention of tobacco taxes. The loans for Ukraine evinced the largest gap between opportunity and action but Ukraine wasn’t the only country. Bangladesh,where 2 million more people started smoking between 2006 and 2012, received a US$60 million Revenue Mobilization Program in 2014 with no mention of tobacco taxes. Indonesia, with 52 million smokers, has the second highest male smoking prevalence in the world at 57 percent. Somehow, a $300 million policy loan to Indonesia found time to address tourist VAT refunds but not for tobacco taxes. Remember: these millions of people will lose an average of 10 years of life if they continue to smoke.
In fairness, the World Bank staff might have proposed incorporating tobacco taxes into these operations and failed to get positive responses from the borrower. If so, the shame falls on the borrowing countries for this lost opportunity. But without a single full-time staff person dedicated to supporting tobacco control, I suspect that a good part of the blame lies with the World Bank’s management which cannot find a way to bridge the fiscal/health gap and demonstrate to clients that tobacco taxes are a big win for improving health and raising revenues.
Over the last five years, our newsletter “Cash on Delivery Aid Update” has begun to cover more than just Cash on Delivery Aid(COD Aid). So we’ve decided to rename the newsletter, but what shall we call it?
I discussed this simple question with colleagues at the Center, where it quickly turned into a strange journey through the language – and substance – of performance payments. In particular, what is being delivered? And is the cash always aid?
But our newsletter also considered other aid programs that looked similar because they paid for a “result” of some kind. A partial list might look like an odd alphabet song – RBF and RBA; PBI and OBA; DIB and SIB; PforR and P4P – but they do share a common focus on paying for results. (If someone would like to compose a melody, the rhyming couplets are intentional).
The odd thing is that people designing these programs define “results” in very strange ways. Some of these programs pay for writing a plan, instituting a new procedure, or delivering supplies. This is far from the results we envision for COD Aid agreements – results like children who know how to read and write, fewer deaths from preventable illnesses, or lower greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. It also differs from the common understanding of results; after all, one dictionary synonym for results is “effect.” In practice, performance agreements tend to pay more often for things which are thought to be causes than for verified effects. I think that’s a problem. Others don’t. Subject matter for more debate.
Is the Cash Always Aid?
Over time, we also noticed that some of the programs we wrote about in our Update aren’t really foreign aid at all. In particular, Norway’s agreements with Brazil, Guyana, and Indonesia pay to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. These aren’t charity or redistributive programs in any sense. They are payments that compensate tropical forest countries for an important service – slowing the pace of climate change – that benefits rich countries. Other programs we’ve written about, like Social Impact Bonds for reduced recidivism or fiscal transfers for health, have nothing to do with aid and everything to do with improving domestic public policy. It is pretty clear that this newsletter is not about aid and that aid is too narrow a window.
Cash on Delivery without the Aid?
So I came away from these conversations with a desire to be specific about paying for “effects” and to stress the responsibility of funders to pay what they owe for public goods, externalities, distributional justice, and cost-savings. Yet somehow “The Paying for Effects which are Public Goods, Externalities, Matters of Distributional Justice, or Cost-Saving Update” just didn’t have the right ring to it. Don’t you agree?
I might just rename it: “The Cash on Delivery Update.” That would leave open the debate over what is being delivered and get rid of the narrow focus on aid.
While global development is about much more than aid, US foreign assistance is, and will remain, one of the most visible tools for US development policy in many countries. The US government spends less than 1 percent of its annual budget — about $23 billion — on nonmilitary foreign assistance across the globe. These programs have consistently come under fire for failing to achieve measurable and sustainable results, ignoring local priorities and contexts, perpetuating bureaucratic inefficiencies and inflexibility, and repeating mistakes over time. A paradigm shift within US aid agencies is needed. In this brief, we outline concrete proposals that would address many of the traditional shortcomings of US foreign aid approaches.
In this series of briefs, Center for Global Development experts present concrete, practical policy proposals that will promote growth and reduce poverty abroad. Each can make a difference at virtually no incremental cost to US taxpayers. Together, they can help secure America’s preeminence as a development and security power and partner.
There are 20 pages covering the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. And while they are inevitably bubble-wrapped in diplo-speak and hat-tipping, there is a solid package of proposals nestled within. They cover domestic public finance, private finance, international public finance, trade, debt, technology, data and systemic issues. Amongst many other things, the Agenda calls for more tax and better tax (less regressive, more focused on pollution and tobacco). And it is long and specific on base erosion, tax evasion and competition and tax cooperation. It calls for financial inclusion and cheaper remittances. The draft discusses blended finance and a larger role for market-based instruments to support infrastructure rollout, as well as a new measure of “Total Official Support for Sustainable Development.” It calls for Multilateral Development Bank reform including new graduation criteria and scaling up. And it suggests a global compact to guarantee a universal package of basic social services and a second compact covering infrastructure. Finally, the draft has a good section on technology including the need for public finance and flexibility on intellectual property rights.
The single most cost-effective way to save lives in developing countries is in the hands of developing countries themselves: raising tobacco taxes. In fact, raising tobacco taxes is better than cost-effective. It saves lives while increasing revenues and saving poor households money when their members quit smoking.
Tobacco related diseases cut short the lives of 100 million people last century, a number expected to surge to 1 billion this century, according to CGD senior fellow Bill Savedoff. Tobacco use has the makings of a staggering epidemic, one taking an increasing toll on low- and middle-income countries. Bill and I discuss the health costs imposed on those countries and tax policies for curbing tobacco usage.
The single most cost-effective way to save lives in developing countries is in the hands of developing countries themselves: raising tobacco taxes. In fact, raising tobacco taxes is better than cost-effective. It saves lives while increasing revenues and saving poor households money when their members quit smoking.
Recently I wrote an offhand comment about the “stagnation of foreign aid” in a draft introduction. On reflection, that didn’t sound quite right. So after some investigation with my research assistant, Albert Alwang, I came to the conclusion that the answer to the question posed in the title is actually “all of the above!” How can that be?
My sense that foreign aid has been stagnating is primarily due to the way it has been eclipsed by the rapid growth in foreign direct investment (FDI). In the post-World War II era, official development assistance (ODA) was justified as a way to make up for insufficient capital in developing countries, a concept which was discredited but survives as a ghost. When compared to FDI, ODA has indeed been SHRINKING. In 1970, ODA was 3 times larger than net (FDI) to low- and middle-income countries. By 2012, ODA was a mere fraction of net FDI (about 14 percent).
But development is not a simple function of capital flows and foreign direct investment doesn’t tend to finance public goods like infrastructure, social services, humanitarian assistance and improved public administration. ODA addresses these latter categories and as long as countries still face these kinds of challenges, foreign aid will remain relevant. So, Albert and I did some further digging.
Despite last year’s headlines (e.g., “Aid to poor countries slips further as governments tighten budgets”), ODA is indeed GROWING as Chart 1 shows. In 1960, ODA was around US$28 billion. In the early 1990s it peaked around US$85 billion, surged to above US$125 billion in 2005, and now exceeds US$130 billion. Part of the recent boost is due to the United Kingdom’s fulfillment of its pledge to reach 0.7% of GNI. That’s a lot of money and represents substantial real growth in ODA. We know that some of this is number-fudging (see for example Kharas 2007 and Roodman 2014), but without more detailed analysis, my offhand statement about stagnating aid doesn’t have face validity.
Is absolute funding the right measure? Donor country incomes have also been rising over this period and donor generosity may not have kept pace with income growth. Chart 1 shows that, indeed, ODA has been SHRINKING as a share of donor country GNI since the 1960s. Despite the absolute growth in real funding, the share of national income dedicated to ODA has fallen from a little under 0.5% to around 0.3%.
Official Development Assistance, 1960 to 2012
But that only says whether donor countries are more or less generous. Wouldn’t it be better to compare ODA to the need for foreign aid? Income in many low- and middle-income countries has grown quickly in the last two decades. Chart 2 gives two answers here, splitting the recipients into low- and middle-income countries. ODA to middle-income countries has been SHRINKING as a share of the recipient’s GNI, from a high of around 6% in 1990 to less than 3% today; but ODA to low-income countries has been STAGNATING, exceeding 15% of GNI in 1990 and fluctuating as high as 25% and as low as 12% before returning to 12% today. (Note, we calculated this by giving each recipient country equal weight, so China and India have the same influence on the resulting average as Nicaragua and Liberia.)
Official Development Assistance as share of recipient country GNI (%)
Notes: The figure shows the average ratio of official development assistance (ODA) to Gross National Income (GNI) for countries within each income group, giving each country an equal weight. Countries were included if they: (1) had a population greater than 1 million; (2) received ODA; and (3) have GNI reported in the database. Therefore the number of included countries varies from year to year.
But then we asked: “Why should we count need in terms of income? What about population?” So Albert dug into the figures a little further and gave me Chart 3. The story for middle-income countries looks like a story of ODA STAGNATION; donors have provided a relatively steady US$60 to US$70 per capita since the late 1980s. But the picture looks different for ODA to low-income countries which was SHRINKING in per capita terms from the 1990s and then started GROWING again after 2000 – from US$40 to about US$60 today.
Average per capita Official Development Assistance received by income group
Notes: The figure shows official development assistance (ODA) per person in receiving countries within each income group, giving each country an equal weight. Countries were included if they: (1) had a population greater than 1 million and (2) received ODA. Therefore the number of included countries varies from year to year.
So now what do we do? The introduction to my draft still needs some motivation related to historical patterns of ODA. My intended starting point was that ODA is growing less relevant over time but I’m not sure I can really say that. Projections assembled by the DAC suggest that country programmable aid is going to be stable over the next few years while Simon Maxwell has outlined four significant trends that might undermine support for ODA. The figures also don’t address who receives the benefits of the aid – is most of it directed toward people in poverty or not? Nor do the aggregate figures address the all-important question of the benefits generated by this aid. In fact, a recent paper makes a bold proposal that donating countries should not be able to count disbursements as ODA unless the funded programs have demonstrated impact!
So which measure is important to the relevance of aid – the relation to foreign direct investment, donor country generosity (stinginess), recipient income, populations? Or should we give up the bean-counting and focus on outcomes? Advice welcome!
Special thanks to Albert Alwang for data and ideas, along with feedback from several CGD colleagues.
One of the biggest hopes people expressed about Jim Kim’s nomination to become president of the World Bank was that he would bring a fresh perspective, focused on achieving results, rather than reinforce the institution’s bureaucratic machinery. Unfortunately, President Kim’s recent remarks at the Council on Foreign Relations suggest that bureaucratic inertia is winning. His references to “following the money” and “zero tolerance for corruption” suggest that he is unaware of the direct and indirect costs of the Bank’s intrusive and prescriptive money-tracking technology or is being erroneously advised that they are an unfortunate but unavoidable burden.
Kim’s positive spin on the Bank’s procedures sounded like this:
And the good news about the Bank ... because we have safeguards in place, because we do auditing, because we’re so careful at following our money, we can at least tell our own governors where our money is going, and it takes a lot to do that.
The truth is that the Bank may know what its loan funds are buying but it rarely knows what benefits those funds provide, if any. Despite years of talking about improving data and accountability, for example, information about the number of children who know how to read and write is only recently available ... and not as a result of the World Bank’s support to education information systems.
Even the information from tracking the money is quite poor. One internal World Bank study looked at a sample of water sector projects and found that evidence of corruption was completely uncorrelated with the number of “red flags” – such as failure to advertise properly, low number of submitted bids, or two almost identical bids being submitted – that are supposed to help detect abuses.
Finally, the costs of all this money tracking is significant and hard to measure. A recent CGD working paper estimated that the World Bank spends about $30 million each year on the offices that audit and investigate fraud and another $180 million each year on its own procurement and financial staff. To this, one must add the time of borrowing country staff required to satisfy the Bank’s reporting requirements.
“Tracking the money” may protect the Bank from scandal but it doesn’t help countries deal with the hard slog of introducing, implementing and institutionalizing public financing management systems. That only happens as a result of domestic political change that is unlikely to be affected positively by heavy outside monitoring of funds.
Kim goes on to praise the World Bank for having a “zero tolerance” approach to corruption:
The best thing we can do when we go into a particular country, we make it clear that we have zero tolerance for corruption. On my first day on the job, my first major decision was whether to stop a bridge project because of evidence of corruption. … and we did it. So we’ve got to fight corruption, and we’ve got to do everything we can to try to help specific countries improve on their governance.
The problem with the rhetoric of “zero corruption” is that it is unrealistic. For one thing, the Bank cannot prosecute people for corruption because it has no authority in the countries which borrow its funds. It is limited to halting projects or blacklisting international bidders.
But the real problem is that the only way to have zero corruption is not to do a project. Period. So the World Bank has internal conversations about “managing risk,” which means recognizing that some money will be diverted, and an external conversation which is all about zero tolerance. Staff are caught between one set of directives (take risks and ‘manage them’) and another directive (don’t ever get caught approving something that might possibly ever turn into a scandal), which makes them excessively cautious.
The “zero corruption” rhetoric may feel good but it focuses people on tracking money rather than the effectiveness of spending. If the World Bank were to put as much effort into measuring outcomes as it has to tracking procurement, it would both restrict the opportunities for corruption (as explained in this Kenny and Savedoff paper) and help borrowing countries get information that is crucial for policy and accountability. And that, ultimately, is the best way to improve governance. By disbursing funds against results (preferably outcomes), programs can build government accountability to parliaments, civil society advocates, the media and citizens who will actually learn what their governments are (or are not) delivering. By contrast, a World Bank report assuring that money was spent according to procedural rules means little to a community that has just received a nonfunctioning hospital or a road that washes out after the first rainy season.
President Kim could have explained how he plans to promote the use of a new bank lending instrument – Program for Results (PforR) – that was approved by the Board in 2012. Unlike the World Bank’s normal investment loans, PforR loans disburse against indicators that measure progress on mutually agreed objectives, such as roads paved or children passing competency tests. The PforR modality makes it possible for the World Bank to offer loans with the advantages of Cash on Delivery Aid (COD Aid). President Kim could promote PforR loans that are linked to beneficial outcomes as a way to reduce transaction costs, build trust in local initiative, and control waste if he gave staff the message that results are what the Bank really cares about. In practice, the initial PforR loans are quite cautious, with most disbursement linked indicators looking more like inputs and activities than outputs and outcomes.
Corruption is almost always a symptom of a broader problem of weak systems of control, entrenched patronage, insider rents and privileges. It cannot be bludgeoned away by a country’s own governments, let alone by foreign pressures. And it will never be eliminated, as anyone knows from a cursory glance at headlines (such as here, here and here) in countries that score well on international corruption indices.
Actually the best way to deal with corruption is to return to the original vision of focusing on what the World Bank is trying to help countries achieve. Loans that disburse against outcomes don’t have to verify where the money went; they only have to verify that the outcomes were achieved. Contrary to common misconceptions, results-based programs may actually be better at keeping corruption to manageable levels by making sure that the benefits are achieved before disbursing funds (as in Kenny and Savedoff). This kind of fresh thinking is what the World Bank needs, not repeating the rhetoric that continues to justify business as usual.
A new wave of development programs that explicitly use incentives to achieve their aims is under way.They are part of a trend, accelerating in recent years, to disburse development assistance against specific and measurable outputs or outcomes. With a proliferation of new ideas under names such as “payments for performance,” “output-based aid,” and “results based financing,” it is easy to lose sight of basic underlying similarities in these approaches and to miss some significant differences.
It would be strange to try learning how to play music without listening to musicians. Similarly, learning about results-based aid programs requires listening to people who design and implement them. That is just what we did last week in a set of workshops about implementing programs that pay for results – programs which apply some or all of the principles that we’ve discussed here at the Center as Cash on Delivery Aid. As a result of discussing real experiences, we discovered that some of the challenges are quite different than we had anticipated while a number of common concerns have simply failed to materialize.
The Center convened these workshops to take advantage of a visit by Ellie Cockburn, economic adviser at the UK Department for International Development. Cockburn presented a series of pilot experiences that DFID calls “Payment by Results” and outlined some of the emerging lessons. Chris Berry, DFID head of profession for education, shared the lessons he has drawn from two results-based aid pilot education projects – one in Ethiopia and the other in Rwanda. Alan Gelb, CGD senior fellow, presented preliminary findings from research he is conducting on the World Bank’s 24 approved or proposed Program for Results operations. The discussion was also enriched by participants from environmental groups who explained Norway’s experience in paying for reductions in deforestation and from the Inter-American Development Bank which is paying for results in a Central American regional health program (Salud Mesoamérica 2015, described by Amanda Glassman here).
The discussion was focused on practical issues and challenges with designing and implementing results-based aid. We expected that results-based programs would involve more upfront costs than traditional aid programs because of the effort required to choose good outcome indicators and establish ways to independently verify them. We hadn’t anticipated, though, how difficult it would be for staff – in both funding agencies and recipient governments –to fully capture the differences between results-based aid and usual approaches. For example, partner governments in DFID’s pilot programs asked for guidance on spending even when the agreements gave them full discretion over the use of funds. If anything, this demonstrates that such RBA programs are not “business as usual,” requiring patience and persistence in getting the message across to staff on both sides of the aid relationship.
Meanwhile, the focus on measuring and paying for development outcomes has had a number of salutary effects, particularly for implementation. Recipient governments have told DFID that they value the way outcome measurements have helped them to manage their programs to improve performance. Salud Mesoamérica has experienced a similar pattern of improved implementation as a result of focusing both funders and implementers on outcomes.
We also saw that many concerns over COD Aid have not in fact materialized or were easily resolved. The lack of upfront funding for investments did not present a problem in any of the programs that we heard about – sometimes because the sector already had substantial foreign aid and domestic funding and sometimes because the funds were structured to reimburse countries for their local counterpart contributions. Concerns of losing “undisbursed funds” also seem to have been exaggerated because funders had contingency plans to reallocate unused funds to other sectors, to other countries, or to future time periods. None of the programs have encountered signs of perverse incentives or distorted behaviors as a result of basing payments on outcomes, which indicates that it is possible to mitigate such risks with well-designed outcome indicators and verification procedures.
Still, many questions remain. Participants highlighted the difficulty of knowing just how much to be “hands-on” or “hands-off”, how to provide technical assistance that is truly demand-driven, and how incentives work at different levels within a particular country. Many of the decisions that have to be made around results-based aid – like setting payment amounts or communicating results – are “more of an art than a science,” as Ellie Cockburn put it. Perhaps the key advice from the workshops is to understand context, consider a wide range of criteria, and be flexible without losing sight of the basic principles of a results-based approach. For our part, we consider these principles to include a clear focus on outcomes, recipient discretion, independent verification, and accountability of donors and recipients to their own citizens. Changing mindsets around how to deliver aid that embodies these principles is a tall order, but sharing these pilot experiences should speed up the learning process and the emergence of practices that realize the advantages of these new approaches.
Evaluations are key to learning and accountability yet their usefulness depends on the quality of their evidence and analysis. This brief summarizes the key findings of a CGD Working Paper that assessed the quality of aid agency evaluations in global health. By looking at a representative sample of evaluations—both impact and performance evaluations—from major health funders, the study authors developed 10 recommendations to improve the quality of such evaluations and, consequently, increase their usefulness.
The most essential feature of a social impact bond (SIB) is measuring impact. But what happens if the impact metric is questioned or unclear? A recent dispute over measuring the impact of a SIB for early childhood development in Utah yields two important practical lessons for this innovative financing tool. First, SIB implementers should be careful not to exaggerate the precision of their success indicators. Second, they need to be clear to everyone about which objectives they are pursuing.
This particular story unfolded when investors declared the success of a SIB aimed to prepare 3- and 4-year-olds in Utah for kindergarten. Multiple press releases and articles reported the promising results of the preschool program, financed by Goldman Sachs and the Pritzker Family Foundation, with United Way of Salt Lake serving as the intermediary. At CGD, we even featured the program in our Cash on Delivery Update. Within weeks, however, critics were questioning the metrics used to declare success.
At that point, we considered putting out a correction to the newsletter. But after digging deeper, we found that the story is more complex, especially when it comes to choosing the right indicator and assessing the program’s objectives. (A view shared by Kenneth Dodge in this New York Times essay).
Is the success metric good enough?
When the program started, 110 children were identified to be “at risk,” or likely to need state-funded special education services. After attending the preschool program, however, only one student ended up using these services, presumably saving taxpayers a lot of money.
The program used the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT) to identify preschool-age children who might need special education services in later years. Experts predicted that about one-third of those scoring below 70 on the test would probably need such services during their school years, costing the school district $33,185 per child.
But critics charged that this method overstates the program’s success and the payoff to investors. Some of these 110 children might have improved during the year even without the pre-school program. Without a counterfactual, the program cannot know if all 110 students who scored below the PPVT threshold score of 70 would have ended up in special education without the preschool program.
In some “pay for results” programs, a very precise indicator is required. But in others, a less water-tight indicator can be justified. We have numerous rigorous studies that show good preschool programs improve learning and reduce the need for special education. So as long as pre- and post-tests in the Utah program show progress, it isn’t unreasonable to assume the program is working and generating cost-savings.
The question at this stage is not whether the impact bond’s success is being overstated, but whether the measure is good enough to track progress and calculate payments. Without other provisions, the overstatement could lead to unreasonable returns, but in Utah’s case, the return to investors is capped at 5 percent over the municipal borrowing rate. That is the most they can make. On the other hand, if more than half of the children require special education services, the investors lose what they put in.
This is one way SIBs differ from traditional ways of financing public services. Based on evidence, Utah would be justified in simply expanding preschool programs to all children who score low on the PPVT. The advantage of the SIB, however, is that the upfront funding is provided by investors and that the program’s results are tracked annually — with financial consequences. This generates a strong feedback loop typically lacking for many social services.
Is the program objective appropriate for a SIB?
The program’s objective also affects whether the PPVT is good enough for measuring success. The SIB’s designers noted that the program can be designed with two objectives: cost avoidance associated with reduced demand for special education services and outcome improvements associated with better learning and social integration.
From press accounts, it isn’t entirely clear whether the SIB was primarily designed to help the state save on special education services (cost savings) or to find money for an underfunded but successful education program (outcome improvement). In this case, the independent evaluator (Utah State University), estimated the cost savings from the first cohort of students not utilizing special education services at $281,550. But even if the metric overstated the cost savings, 110 children received a preschool program that would not have been otherwise offered by the state and did so while putting private, not public, money at risk for impact.
Utah’s experience is a good opportunity to recognize how much we know about choosing good indicators for SIBs and other “pay for success” programs. It also shows the importance of clearly explaining to decision makers and the public why an indicator is “good enough,” how much upside and downside risk is associated with measurement error, and what the true objectives of the program are. Once we have more experience with SIBs, we may even develop standard reporting formats. Until then, we (and the media) need to ask good questions and be more reflective before we trumpet or condemn a particular SIB.